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Louisiana's new law requiring the Ten Commandments in classrooms churns old political conflicts

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A bill signed into law this week makes Louisiana the only state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every classroom in public schools and colleges — and stirs the long-running debate over the role of religion in government institutions.
A bill signed into law this week makes Louisiana the only state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every classroom in public schools and colleges — and stirs the long-running debate over the role of religion in government institutions.
Under the new law, all public K-12 classrooms and state-funded universities will be required to display a poster-sized display of the Ten Commandments in “large, easily readable font” next year.
Civil liberties groups planned lawsuits to block the law signed by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry, saying it would unconstitutionally breach protections against government-imposed religion.
Chris Dier, who was named the Louisiana Teacher of the Year in 2020, said Thursday that he worried the required display could send a message that a “teacher, school, community and state prefers certain religions over others” and could make some students “feel incredibly isolated.”
State officials are stressing the history of the Ten Commandments, which the bill calls “foundational documents of our state and national government.”
“The 10 Commandments are pretty simple (don’t kill, steal, cheat on your wife), but they also are important to our country’s foundations,” Attorney Gen. Liz Murrill, a Republican ally of Landry who will defend the law in court, said in a social media statement.

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